Travel advice for students travelling by train on South Western Railway from September 2020

Please see below for a message from SWR:

We are writing to you in advance of your return to teaching in September.

We know that when you return, many of your pupils will be planning on using our services to get to and from school or college, and we are asking for your support in raising awareness amongst parents and pupils as to how they can travel safely on our services.

As you may know, the railway has changed significantly since lockdown began back in March. Social distancing should also be practised at stations and on trains, and face coverings are now mandatory for customers aged 11 and above, unless they have a medical exemption. You will appreciate how important following this guidance is for the safety of our customers, colleagues, and of course yourselves, and we urge you to make your pupils aware of the new rules of travel.

To help you do this, we have created a Back to School guide, as well as a dedicated page on our website We would greatly appreciate if you could promote the guide and the website to parents and pupils in advance of your re-opening.  We will also be using our Twitter account @sw_help to share information and would welcome you sharing our posts to help widen the outreach of our messaging.

We would also like to share with you what we are doing to keep our customers, including your pupils safe. At our stations and on our trains, we are carrying out enhanced cleaning, focussing on commonly touched surfaces such as door buttons and grab rails, and at 100 of our stations we have also provided hand sanitiser stations. When schools and colleges return, we will also be putting in place additional resource at some stations to help encourage customers to follow guidance on face coverings and social distancing. From 7 September 2020, we will also be increasing capacity with further alterations to our timetable, to help passengers respect social distancing. Pupils can check their journey on our app or our website before they travel.

We know that many schools and colleges are still in the process of finalising plans for re-opening, and we would appreciate any information you are able to share, such as plans to stagger start and finish times, or having teachers travelling on trains or at stations. Such information will help our operational teams finalise their preparations.

We would like to thank you for your cooperation with us so far. By working together, we can ensure that your pupils can travel with us safely.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch at [email protected]